Packing for a walk in the woods



Today we're dealing with the burning question: What should I pack for a day in the forest? In this post we take a peek into my backpack, filled with gear for a simple day trip - a walk in the woods with fika (Fika = Swedish for: hot drink and a snack). I love these walks in the woods with fika. It's easy to make  them happen, you don't need a lot of special gear and one can truly focus on being present in nature. If there's anything I've learned lately, it's to appreciate these small hikes. Those that actually happens. After spending years of outdoor education with Färd (week-long trips) on the schedule, I thought for a while that only these week-long trips (or longer) where to be counted as "real outdoors life". And then when my energy or full calendar put an end to planning these long trips, then I hardly made it outdoors except for work and walking my dog.

Due to my work as a natures guide and my growing interest in photography, I've reconsidered. Sure it's awesome to be out on longer hikes, being able to just let go of everything else. But my love for the small adventures are growing day by day. Paddling for a day with guests on the canoe trail. Go down to our fireplace by homelake, make breakfast over open fire. Paddle to a small island and spend the entire afternoon there. Search for endangered lichens in a forest, then go back home and dry my clothes. To bring this "färdkänsla", sense of adventure and presence, into every day outdoors is a nice challenge, as good as any.

Photografer picture no 1 & 2: Anna Lena Winnerstam

Before diving into my pack, I would like to add that this is Not facit. Someone else might want to bring dry socks, a warm sweater, lip balm, sun screen etc. One get to experiment a bit, but this is the basics of my equipment. Most of it never leaves my backpack, but they're still with me, just in case.

First things first. Fika - something to eat and a hot drink. So water bottle/thermos, a small tin with teabags, kuksa and an apple. (short walk, for longer hikes I'd bring sandwiches) Of course one could do without food outdoors, but it's not as nice.

First aid kit. A small water proof bag with the most necessary items. Band aid, compress, tape for blisters, pain killers etc.

(I also bring sutur tape since I'm carving outdoors. It's more practical bringing my own, than go by car for 40 minutes to the closest hospital, wait another hour and then pay 120 SEK for someone else to stick the very same tape to the small cut.)

Knife and fire pouch. In my fire pouch I bring tinder in forms of birch bark, juniper bark, tinder fungi and tampons. I also bring fire steel, flint and ferro rod with striker. I did bring matches for a while. But with practice and time, I got comfortable enough with the ferro rod to leave the matches at home.

Map and compass, these I use when I'm exploring new areas. Along marked trails or in my neighbourwoods I bring them mostly for entertainment or to show others where we are.

Need knows no law. Toilet paper in a water proof bag (plastic bag for bread), hand sanitizer and head lamp - the last one in case I don't make it back home before dark.

Sitting pad and entertainment.

In this case a harmonica and a magnifier.

And, that's a wrap folks. :)

What do you like to bring when heading out? Or what did you do outdoor last time? Please, share in Stories and tag @tracelessintiveden, so that we may take part of your journey.

Pack in peace!